Monday, August 22, 2011

Meal Planning Monday...Freezer Meals

My good friend Meredith has been telling me how much easier being a working mom can be if you do freezer meals.  I had planned to a couple of times, but it just never happened, until Saturday.  I spent right around 90 minutes making my life much less stressful!  (I'm including the recipes at the end of the post and how I prepared them)

Monday - Chicken Pot Pie 
Tuesday - Chili Mac and Cheese, Salad, Bread
Wednesday - Caesar Parmesan Chicken over Bow Tie Pasta and Broccoli, Bread
Thursday - Meat Loaf, Twice Baked Potatoes, and Carrots
Friday - Frozen Pizza because Mama is going out on a Girl's Night Out to see The Help!

I try to always have a meat for protein, veggie, and a starch.  Nicholas always has either a fruit or yogurt and milk with his meal.  Michael and I have tea, coke, wine, or beer.  :-)

Chicken Pot Pie
2 deep dish pie crusts
1 10 oz can of chicken
1 can of mixed veggies
any additional veggies you want to include
1 can cream of chicken

Cook any raw veggies until they are tender.  Mix all ingredients and pour into one pie shell.  Place the 2nd crust on top.  Cook for 45-60 mins on 400 or until golden brown.  Allow to cool for 10-15 mins before cutting, it will be very hot.  
To freeze I prepared all the way until placing in the oven.  I covered with foil twice and labeled the foil.  I place in refrigerator the night before cooking to thaw a little bit.

Meatloaf from Brooke Deen - Paula's daughter in law! I saw it on an episode of Paula's Best Dishes when I was in the hospital with a kidney stone a couple of years ago and just HAD to try it.  It has become a favorite.  I got the recipe here
To freeze I placed it in a foil loaf pan and covered with foil twice.  I will place it in the refrigerator the night before to thaw.

Homemade Chili Mac a classic go to at my house growing up!
1 lb ground beef
1 14 oz can tomato sauce
1 can chili with beans
1 box mac and cheese
Boil macaroni noodles according to the box.  While noodles are cooking, brown hamburger meat and drain.  Mix tomato sauce and chili with meat.  Prepare mac and cheese exactly as directed on the box and mix with the meat mixture.  Cover with shredded cheddar cheese.  Cook for 30 min or until cheese is melted and bubbly on 350.

To freeze, I prepared in a foil bowl like those you get in Mexican to go from a Mexican restaurant.  I covered with the lid and covered with foil.  Will thaw in refrigerator night before cooking.

Caesar Parmesan Chicken
2 chicken breast (can be frozen)
1 cup Caesar Parmesan dressing from Kraft.
8 oz Bowtie Pasta
  • 1/4 Cup Olive Oil
  • 1 Clove Crushed Garlic
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 Cup Grated Parmesan Cheese
2 Bunches of Broccoli

I placed 2 frozen chicken breast in a large ziplock bag and added the dressing.  Sealed and returned to freezer.  Night before cooking, I will thaw in the refrigerator.

Bake chicken on 350 for 45 mins or until done.  Boil pasta until tender, drain.  Steam broccoli until tender, mix into pasta.  In a saucepan mix olive oil, garlic, and salt & pepper.  Pour over pasta/broccoli, and sprinkle with cheese.  Serve chicken over pasta.

This little cutie watched me prepare the first half before taking a nap.  I love that I can do this while he watches and we can still interact.  It makes it so much more fun than going somewhere to prepare them!